In general, “spring rolls” are thought to be a crispy, deep-fried, rolled pastry wrapper filled with meat and veggies, and “summer rolls” are the Vietnamese version made of a thin, translucent rice wrapper filled with shrimp and veggies and served cold. Evidently, this is not always the case.
One of my family’s favorite restaurants in Pasadena, California is Green Earth Vegan Cuisine (there’s also a restaurant in Toronto owned by the same family). On their menu, they have both Spring Rolls and Summer Rolls, but neither are deep-fried. Today we had the Spring Rolls which were like the traditional Vietnamese summer roll.
Tightly wrapped inside were steak-like strips of textured soy protein along with thinly sliced lettuce and cucumbers, mint, and vermicelli noodles. The sauce in the middle of the plate was a peanut sauce. I was impressed with these rolls because they’re so well wrapped and dry, which makes them easy to grab and dip in the sauce. Whenever I’ve tried to make summer rolls at home, they end up being kind of soggy and fall apart easily.
The ingredients themselves don’t have much flavor, except for the textured protein which has a slightly marinated soy sauce flavor. But the mint aroma combined with the peanut sauce make for a nice combination that makes you want to keep eating more. The only complaint I have is that there’s barely enough sauce for the six pieces on the plate, particularly if you’re double-dipping. Tip: Ask for extra peanut sauce when you order.
Spring roll, summer roll — the name doesn’t really matter. These rolls are good all year round.
What about their Summer Roll? Stay tuned.
Green Earth Vegan Cuisine – Pasadena
37 S. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91105